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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Is Harper's "Tough On Crime" Playing the Race Card?

Here is another example of Harper’s Conservatives not reflecting the values that are fundamentally Canadian. Calgary Conservative Candidate Lee Richardson is quoted in the Calgary Herald today accusing immigrants as not being law abiding and tagging them as being responsible for big city crime. In fairness there are ethnic gangs in Edmonton and Calgary but that is not an excuse to brand immigrants as the cause of crime in Calgary. It is more complicated than that simplistic and shallow perception.

Richardson is allegedly quoted in Fast Forward – the Calgary alternative newspaper - implying that many crimes are committed by people that are “…not the kid who grew up next door.” Of course Richardson regrets the comments and admits he misspoke. So what! It reflects an attitude and a value set that is destructive and dangerous.

These were not unguarded comments made in a government interdepartmental meeting as Mr. Ritz’s. These comments reflect, again, an underlying and sometimes overt attitude that is very disturbing. Citizens have seriously question and ask themselves if the Cons are fit to govern. This attitude seems to pervade some significant segments of the Uber- Conservative old time Reform/Alliance elements that still dominate Harper’s caucus.

Reader of this Blog know that I despair about the command and control culture of Harper’s leadership as it relates to media, message manipulation and limiting citizen participation and protest in this election. Harper has reverted to issuing tickets to attend his partisan political events in this election – just so he can avoid hearing “other voices.” Don't expect any hard questions from the floor on this issue in the Harper's closed election meeting in Calgary tonight.

Even with only Harper’s messages being allowed, there is an large body of evidence that has come out in this campaign so many of his caucus and cabinet and campaign workers are loose Cannons. I can come to sympathize a bit why Harper can’t let them talk about public policy issues and concerns to citizens and media. The true story of what the ConTrivers are really like starts to become clearer…and it is not pretty.

We need to sustain the Canadian values of an inclusive society. We need political leaders and representatives who are dedicated to intercultural understanding not the marginalization and discrimination of minorities.

Canadians are better than that. The Conservatives are showing that they really don’t understand Canada. Are the Conservatives up to the job of governing? I say no!